Syrian peace negotiator quits
BEIRUT • The Syrian opposition's chief negotiator at UN-brokered peace talks has announced his resignation in what analysts said amounted to a warning that the Geneva-based process was on its "last legs".
Mr Mohammed Alloush, a member of the Saudi-backed rebel group Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), said on Twitter late on Sunday that he was resigning over the talks' failure to produce any results on humanitarian and security issues.
7 on trial over Syria militant training
PARIS • Seven people went on trial in Paris yesterday accused of travelling to Syria to train as militant fighters, among them the brother of one of the militants who killed 130 people in the French capital last November.
The seven, aged from 24 to 27, face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of taking part in an Islamist recruitment network and receiving training in Syria from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group. All but one of them returned to France in early 2014. The one who stayed behind was Foued Mohamed-Aggad, who took part in the massacre at the Bataclan concert hall last year. Foued's brother, Karim Mohamed-Aggad, is among the accused.
German firms face N-storage charges
BERLIN • The German Cabinet plans to approve a draft law on Aug 3 that will require its utilities to pay billions of euros into a state fund to help cover the cost of nuclear storage, according to an Economy Ministry timetable seen by Reuters yesterday.
A commission recommended in April that Germany's "big four"power firms - E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall - pay a total of €23.3 billion (S$35.9 billion) to remove unwanted long-term liability for the storage of nuclear waste.